How To Sharpen A Paper Cutter Blade & it’s Safety Guide!

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Papers are still an inseparable part of our daily life, no matter how electrically powered equipment we use. And cutting and trimming the papers in a variety of ratios is also a daily task for many of us, especially those who work in a design or graphics studios.

Industries also need a huge pile of paper cut every day in the desired shape. And what do you think the easiest and most effective way of cutting papers? Well, the answer is obviously a ‘paper cutter’.

Paper cutters are tools which will let you cut a stack of papers edges straight in one go in the minimum time possible. So let’s get introduced to this amazing tool if you haven’t used this one before.

What is a paper cutter?

A paper cutter or a paper trimmer, also known as guillotine is a machine to trim a larger set of paper with a straight edge at once. There are a variety of sizes of paper cutter available in the market to suits every kind of need. You can find the one you can use at home as well as the industrial paper cutter.

Types of paper cutter:

There are a variety of paper cutters available in the market. So you can choose from many options as per your need. Such as:

Rotary trimmers:

These are more preferred by the graphic designers and photographers. Rotary trimmers have round blades which are good for cutting, scoring and perforating.

Guillotine cutter:

These are for the more professional result. They can cut more papers with higher efficiency.

Stack cutter:

As the name suggests, these type of cutters are used to cut a big stack of paper in one go.

Electric paper cutter:

These are heavy duty industrial paper trimmers. Fully automatic one and the semi-automatic electric trimmers are available in the market.

Foam board cutter:

You can cut any type of sheet material with this one. This is more perfect for the design and graphics studios.

Safety precautions when using a Paper Cutter:

  1. First of all, you need to place the cutter on a flat and stable surface and restrain any kind of unwanted movement of the cutter.
  2. Put the safety latch on when you are not using the cutter.
  3. While using the cutter keep your fingers out of the guardrail. Don’t ever remove the guardrail. But guillotine paper cutter doesn’t have any guard rail which makes it more dangerous to work with. So never put your hand beneath the cutting blade at any moment.
  4. Clean the cutting blade in between each session.
  5. Look in the instruction how many papers you can cut at once in your cutter. Never exceed the limit.
  6. You don’t need to lubricate the cutting blade. Just sharp the blade or ask for professional help if the blade becomes dull.
  7. Don’t wear loose clothing while using the cutter. This can lead to unpleasant accidents.
  8. Don’t try to catch the falling parts of the paper while you are using the trimmer. This will disturb your concentration and cause accidents. Always concentrate on the cutter blade and on your hand.
  9. Beware of any unusual noise your cutter is making while you are working. Check the cutter and be sure of what is wrong with the cutter. Don’t use the cutter until you solve the problem?
  10. After you are done, place the blade downward and put the safety latch on. This will prevent the blade from causing an accident while it is not being used.
  11. In case of fully automatic or semi-automatic cutters, you need to look for the ‘two-hand operation’ feature on it. This feature is a great way to keep your hands away from the blade and keep them safe. Don’t ask another person to accompany you while you are using the cutter since it can cause accidents.
  12. Don’t try to carry the cutter by holding it on to the blade. You have to be careful while carrying and installing it.
  13. Another important thing is that these machines are only for adults to use. Keep these away from your kids if you keep the cutter inside your house.

How to use a guillotine paper cutter:

Guillotine paper cutter is the one you need to trim all your official documents with a clean straight edge. But try to find a guillotine cutter which has a better safety feature to guard your fingers. Now let’s start the cutting process:

  1. Pay attention to your cutter capable of cutting at a time. Each model has a different capacity and never loads more paper than that. Cutting more paper than the capacity will dull the blade faster and you won’t even get the clean-cut edges you want.
  2. Now it is time to place the paper on the base. The base is basically a platform with grid and measurements on it. So you can measure the paper and cut them in angle you when simply following the grids.
  3. Some models come with a clamp. Use it to stick the paper on to the place for a better cutting experience.
  4. Now position the papers and take a good look where you want to cut the papers. Slowly bring the blade down and cut the paper. Be alert about your fingers and never put your hand or finger beneath the blade.
  5. Don't try to catch the scraps while cutting the papers. Just let them fall.
  6. After you are done just keep the blade in a down position and put on the safety latch on it.
  7. Repeat the process and make the paper cutting job easier. Don’t compromise your safety at any cost.

Industrial paper cutter:

If you are looking for a paper cutter with more professional features and high efficiency then you should go for an industrial paper cutter. These have a higher capacity of cutting with the cleanest and straightest edges. You can cut more papers with these than your regular paper trimmer. Industrial paper cutters are similar to the guillotine, electric or stack cutters type paper cutter but with better safety measures than the regular one.

How to Sharpen a Paper Cutter Blade

Can’t get the same sharp straight edges of the papers like before by using the paper cutter? Then it is time your paper cutter blade needs a sharpening. There are ways to do so. You can hone the blade or sharp it depending on the condition of the blade.


Honing is basically a process of straightening your blade edges. All you need is a honing rod. Remove the blade from the main body. Then just rub the straight side to the honing rod couple of time on the honing rod. This process is useful if the trimmer blade is still new and in good condition.


You will need:

  • Sharpening stone;
  • Lubricating oil;

Now let’s start.

  1. First, you need to separate the blade from the cutter by losing the arm fastening nut from the body. You can also look in the user manual if you are doing it for the first time.
  2. You need to identify the cutting edge of the blade which is cut at an angle.
  3. You need to know the angle your blade is to be sharpened by. You can find this in the manual or ask the manufacturer to know the angle.
  4. Place the blade on the sharping stone vertically and adjust it to the angle you want to sharpen the blade by. Positioning the blade correctly is crucial.
  5. Lubricate the stone first with some oil. This will prevent the metal scraps from getting into the stone pores and clogging the stone. You can add the oil in between process as well if you feel the need.
  6. Start swinging the blade around the stone in an arc maintaining the proper cutting angle. Try to keep the pressure even on the stone while sharping the blade.
  7. Keep swinging the blade until you get the desired result.

Final words:

Trimming the huge pile of papers has been made easy and fast, thanks to the paper trimmers. With the help of these, you can cut, trim, and score the papers or any sheet materials with the minimum efforts. Paper cutters are also very affordable. So you can get one no matter what your budget and need is. But handle the paper cutters with caution.

You need to be extremely careful while using these otherwise you can end up being injured severely. In case of the industrial use, train your staffs properly before assigning them to this task. Maintaining the safety precautions is the first and foremost rule for using the paper cutters.

James Keifer

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